By Mila Besich-Lira
Originally known as Armistice day to remember those who fought in World War One the day eventually became commemorated as Veterans Day to remember all veterans and armed forces.
The ceremony began with the greeting by post commander Mike Urquijo he was followed by post Chaplain Art Reyna who gave a brief invocation. The post members and ladies’ auxiliary members presented the remembrance wreaths at the foot of the the table for the missing in action and prisoners of war.
Commander Urquijo explained the significance of each item on the MIA/POW table. The white table cloth symbolizes the purity of their intention and to respond to their country’s call to arms, so that their children can remain free.
The lone candle symbolizes the frailty of a prisoner alone, trying to stand up against his oppressors. The black ribbon on the candle reminds of the comrades who will not return. The single rose reminds us of the loved ones and families that were left behind.
The empty chair is reminder of the service member and the Bible is to remind them of their faith. A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate, salt is on the table which is symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait.
The inverted glasses on the table remind us that they cannot toast with us but maybe one day they will.
The event was attended by two local active duty service members Jose Lira a chief in the US Navy and Nicholas Conrad who just completed Army boot camp and was home celebrating his first official Veterans Day. Many veterans and post members also attended.
Thisyear the VFW selectedguest speakers from the community to accompany their annual ceremony. Hank Gutierrez and former Mayor Michael Hing each spoke about the importance of Veterans Day.
Hing read through a series of presidential speeches. Gutierrez spoke about the importance of the role of the VFW in the community. He encouraged the public to join the VFW and support the auxiliary he stressed that the VFW is an icon for the community and it would be a shame if it were to ever have to close.
After the speeches members of the post and auxiliary read the names of veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice a bell was rung after each name was read.
Following the ceremony, everyone in attendance enjoyed a lunch prepared by the ladies’ auxiliary.
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